"You have heard that it
was said, ´You shall love your neighbor and hate
your enemy.´ But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you, that you
may be children of your heavenly Father, for he
makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and
the unjust. For if you love those who love you,
what recompense will you have? Do not the tax
collectors do the same? And if you greet your
brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the
pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as
your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you became a
man in order to show me, in your own
flesh and blood, the way to holiness. In every
word and deed of yours recorded in the Gospel, you
teach and reveal to me the secret of a
life worthy of eternity. I believe that you are with
me now, and that you will use these moments
of prayer to increase my faith, hope and love.
Here I am, Lord, to know, love and serve you
with all my heart. Amen.
Petition: Lord, help me to seek
holiness out of love for you and others. Amen.
“Be Perfect” Who is telling us to be perfect?
Christ the Word, he through whom all things were made,
through whom we came into being: our Lord, our
Creator, who from all eternity longs to see each
one of us be made perfect in love. This is
not a suggestion; it is a command. He says
it to his disciples with energy, even knowing that for
them alone it is impossible. For God, though, nothing
is impossible. We are reminded today that our saintliness
is a possibility; it is God’s plan. Miracles happen when
we believe. God is not through with any one
of us yet. All God asks is that we be
perfect – not a whole life in one fell
swoop – but, rather, every present moment, one at
a time. That is what I have – this present
moment. This is what I have to perfect.
2. Why Does
God Command Us to Become Perfect? God’s demand that
we seek and strive after the perfection of holiness
becomes more understandable when we contemplate the increasingly dire
situation of our world. That world, so gravely in need
of Christ’s salvation, is the starkest and most palpable
reason why any one of us should pursue holiness.
What is the value of Christian holiness in the world?
One early Christian apologist put it in these terms:
sum up all in one word –– what the
soul is in the body, that are Christians in the
world. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against
it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is
prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the
Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures.
The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves
also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate
them” (From the Letter to Diognetus).
3. Seeking Holiness is a
Labor of Love: In a world of shifting sands,
we can offer solid ground; in a world of
blind forces of spiritual and material violence, we can
offer the persuasive power of Christian goodness. Blessed Mother Teresa
of Calcutta was heard to say that holiness is
not the privilege of a few, but the obligation
of all. When with simple and profound faith, we delve
into that link between our striving for holiness and
the salvation of souls, we can discover a new
impetus and a new strength. The challenge of seeking holiness
can become a labor
of love, driven by a heart aflame with zeal for
the salvation of all our brothers and sisters.
Christ: Lord Jesus, the world needs men and women
of God; the world needs saints. I know this. I
know you call me in a personal, urgent and
insistent way to seek my holiness. For the sake
of my brothers and sisters, for their salvation, Lord, make
me holy. Amen.
Resolution: I will dedicate some time today to
pray to Our Lady and entrust to her, with
living faith and childlike simplicity, the entire project of
my personal sanctification.